Television Causes Sleep Loss in Children

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Does your child have a television in her room? Have you considered allowing your son to have his own television? While it may be more convenient to have a television in your child’s room, even with parental controls the TV may be causing some serious issues. New research suggests that for every hour of television a child watches each day, they get seven fewer minutes of sleep. In addition, children with a television in their room got an average of less sleep per night.

The research was conducted by the MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Harvard School of Public Health, on children ranging from the age of 6 months to 8 years of age. The study followed different health effects on children’s health for a long period of time. These annual updates were able to track changes in the children’s behavior and health. It was found that the presence of a television in a child’s room reduced sleep duration by about half an hour per day. Based on other research findings, this may be because the light from a television slows the production of melatonin. Children may take longer to feel tired or ignore their fatigue in favor of watching more television.

All in all, television viewing decreases the amount of sleep a child gets on a nightly basis. Whether they have a television in their room or not, exposure to TV seems to decrease the quality of sleep each child got. Other studies have found that reduced amounts of sleep can negatively affect both children and adults. Both physical and mental health can depend on getting the proper amount of sleep.

An interesting finding of the study conducted by MassGeneral and Harvard was that boys are more likely to miss out on sleep because of television. In addition, children from ethnic minorities were more likely to sleep in a room with a television. It is advisable to schedule times to watch television and limit viewing right before bedtime. Because the light from the screen can slow melatonin production, it is advisable to wind-down from the day without exposure to backlight screens like those on televisions, tablets, or smartphones. Positive role models and established routines can impact a child’s sleep pattern for a lifetime.

Are you concerned about your child’s sleep habits? Have you noticed a change in your own habits? Contact the team at FusionSleep to schedule an appointment with a sleep expert. We specialize in sleep solutions for both children and adults. Let our team help your family be healthier, both mentally and physically.